Antarctica (59°52’ S 62°19’ W)

Date: 5/3/2011
Temp: 5°C at 12:00
Conditions: Overcast to partly cloudy
Winds: 10- 14 knts NW by NNE

Today is our second to last. People are already feeling sick and practically nothing is happening, yet, considering this is considered the roughest sea in the world. Lectures are given all day and reinforce the status of the expedition team, who all regain their past tails of adventure. Lauri the leader was hand selected to be the first to ski from Russia to Canada via the North Pole. Emily designed the RAF winch system for their helecopters and started running at 55 years of age. She now runs marathon races and 24 hour races. Rick led husky dog sled teams around Antarctica and restored the BAS bases of Lockroy, Damoy and others. He has been in Antarctica since the early 70’s.

Random fact quiz on staff prove this. 95% get 0 out of 10 random facts. I help Fuji my Japanese cabin mate understand the questions after he got 2 correct randomly and eventually came a close second place via my acting and drawing of the questions.  Fuji was a true legend on the trip and he proved this time and time again. Despite the language barrier existing where he understood almost nothing, his engagement and openess to the situations that arose made everyone warm to him and hold great respect for him, which ultimately gave him the positive feedback necessary to enjoy the trip even more.  Each time I tried to explain an event or activity to him, he would sinply repeat what I said with little understanding, until I would demonstrate.  Everyone gave me credit for helping him understand, but in truth it was all down to his enthusiasm.

Learning of the polar plunge 10 minutes before hand when people were getting mentally prepared, taking his pebble thick glasses off and piling into freezing water unable to see is brave.  When on the last thank yous from passengers he got up and strung the words he could muster together everyone melted with respect.  We all have something to learn from that. Get involved, be open and people will give you respect that will break down the most hardened cultural barriers.

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